Ariana Grande's stunning "God Is a Woman" video gave us a lot of imagery to parse through, from the pop star pleasuring a hurricane to a field of hamsters (guinea pigs?) screaming into the void. One scene though struck us even more than most — Ariana nude and covered in thick lavender, violet, gray, blue and yellow paint strokes, swimming in a pool of similarly mixed colors.
While the colors brought to mind images of goddesses, the cosmos and other mystical beauty, they also seemed familiar in from an artistic angle. While is why when the woman who created the moment for the shoot revealed her inspiration was a Georgia O'Keefe painting, it suddenly all made sense.
"The song is about female empowerment, so a big inspiration was Georgia O'Keeffe. Her flowers were so suggestive, and the idea was to create Ariana in the middle of a giant Georgia O'Keeffe painting," artist Alexa Meade said in an interview with Buzzfeed News. She noted that the American painter's 1923 work "Grey Lines With Black, Blue and Yellow" in particular was an inspiration.
Meade said she had about two weeks to make the scenes happen, including determining the best body paint and liquid combo for the shoot. "There's a lot of considerations," she told BuzzFeed. "Paint is typically more dense than liquid, but it's also water-soluble, and normally dissolves and dissipates." After some experimenting, Meade went with a tub full of vegan milk alternative topped with paint. The final touches went on Ariana after, who Meade credits with directing the final look.
"It was an incredible stroke of genius and artistic insight, and I need to give credit to Ariana for that one," she said, explaining that while she had planned to paint Grande's entire body, the singer suggested just doing a few strokes.
"I spent a lot of my time during the shoot ensuring that the paint in the bath looked good and she wasn't getting paint splashed on her face. I wasn't able to take a step back and see the finished product until later," Meade added. "It turned out so epically beautiful."
Image via Instagram